Notebook, Round 1: Montreal Championship

July 02, 2010
PGA TOUR staff

Weather: Sunny with highs in the low-70s and afternoon winds from the WSW at 15-25 mph.

Round 1 Leaderboard� T1� Russ Cochran (-7), Tom Wargo (-7); T3� Jay Don Blake (-6), John Cook (-6), Jay Haas (-6), James Mason (-6), Tom Purtzer (-6), Joey Sindelar (-6)

• 67-year-old Tom Wargo and 51-year-old Russ Cochran, the Champions Tour's Rookie of the Year for 2009, are tied for the lead after the first round of the inaugural Montreal Championship. For Cochran, this marks the fourth time in his Champions Tour career that he's been tied for the lead after the opening round and the second time this year for him. At the Regions Charity Classic in mid-May, Cochran was tied with Bobby Clampett, Peter Senior and Joey Sindelar after Round 1 and went on to finish T40 in Birmingham, Ala. For Wargo, today marks the 11th time in his Champions Tour career that he's been leading or tied for a first-round lead. Before today, the last time he was in this position was at the Siebel Classic in March, 2002.

• Wargo and Cochran's 7-under-par 65s tied the course record at Club de Golf Le Fontainebleau. Remi Bouchard shot 65 in a Quebec PGA event in 2007. The round was Cochran's best since he had 65 in Round 1 of the Regions Charity Classic. Wargo's 65 today bettered his age by two strokes, a first for him in an official Champions Tour event and the first time this year that a player has bettered his age on the circuit. It was Wargo's best round since he carded a 65 in Round 1 of the 2007 Boeing Championship in the Florida panhandle.

• When he was a kid, Cochran used to caddie for Wargo each year at a local golf tournament in Paducah, Ky.

• First-round leaders/co-leaders have gone on to win just three of the first 12 Champions Tour events this year -- Tom Watson (Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai), Fred Couples (ACE Group Classic), Mark O'Meara/Nick Price (Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf).

• 1983 Canadian Open champion John Cook is in a group of six players at 6-under-par 66. It's his best opening round since starting with 66 at the Allianz Championship in February. Cook went to lose in a playoff to Bernhard Langer in Boca Raton, Fla. that week.

Corey Pavin who lost in a playoff last week at the PGA TOUR's Travelers Championship, opened with a 4-under-par 68 today extending his streak of events that he's started with a round in the 60s to eight straight. Pavin's best Champions Tour finish this year is a second at The Cap Cana Championship in the Dominican Republic.

Bob Gilder made his 157th consecutive start on the Champions Tour for which he's been eligible, the longest active streak. Gilder last missed a Champions Tour event that he was eligible for at the 2004 Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn.

Daniel Talbot of Quebec, a six-time winner on the Canadian Tour, had the best round among the four Canadian players in the field this week. Talbot carded a two-under 70 while British Columbia's Jim Rutledge shot one-under 71. Yvan Beauchemin of Quebec shot even-par 72 and British Columbia's Dave Barr posted a two-over 74.

• The field averaged 69.808 for the first round of the inaugural event, the third tournament this year with a sub-70 scoring average for an opening round (Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai --68.944, Regions Charity Classic -- 69.519). A total of 59 players finished with sub-par rounds today, one fewer than on Friday at the Regions Charity Classic.

• The most difficult hole in Round 1 was the par-4 15th (4.295), yielding just three birdies (Jay Haas, Vicente Fernandez, Craig Stadler)). The easiest hole was the par-5 7th (4.244), yielding five eagles and 50 birdies among the 78-man field.

Lonnie Nielsen's five straight birdies today (Nos. 6-10) equaled the best birdie streak on the Champions Tour this year. Tom Watson made five birdies in a row in the second round of the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship and his mark was later tied during the season by Dan Forsman, Tommy Armour III and Fred Couples.

Tom Wargo, Peter Senior, Bill Glasson, Corey Pavin, Mike Reid, Chien Soon Lu, John Ross and Daniel Talbot all had bogey-free rounds today...James Mason made the most birdies (9)...Dan Forsman had the longest measured drive (328 yards at No. 11)...Hale Irwin and Scott Simpson hit all 14 fairways...David Frost and Joe Ozaki hit all 18 greens in regulation...Russ Cochran had the fewest putts (25).

Fred Funk's three-putt at the par-4 11th hole ended his streak of holes without a three-putt at 102 consecutive...Larry Mize's three-putt at the par-4 8th hole ended his streak of holes without a three-putt at 83 straight.

Tom Wargo was the only player in the field to make birdie on "The Hat Trick", the three closing holes on the back nine that run along the lake at Club de Golf Le Fontainebleau.